Brainstorm

“How might we better enable injured people to exercise?”

*note: some of the participants in the brainstorming session preferred not to be photographed for the public blog, so I don’t have photos of the whole group

My General Ideas

New Warm-Up Game

The new warm-up game I developed is called pancakes or waffles. Essentially, the game starts out with one of the players asking the person sitting beside them “pancakes or waffles?” The other person must then respond with whatever breakfast item they prefer. That player then asks the next player in the circle “pancakes/waffles or __________?” with the blank space being anything in the entire universe. The game goes on in such a way with players eliminating things from the universe. We also played the word association and disassociation games to warm up for the brainstorming session.

Session Organization

Bit working on her product brainstorming

The brainstorming session was held on Sunday, October 23rd at my house in Minnetonka. The 4 people I got to help me with the session were my mother and sister, then my mom was able to contact one of her running friends who she recently trained for a race with and one of our neighbors (so that I was not too close to everyone in the session). A brief background of the participants is as follows:

  • Janis (my mom): Janis is a runner and yogi who teaches yoga to the University of Minnesota women’s track and cross country teams. She runs mostly for fitness purposes nowadays, but she was a world class marathoner back in her 20s and competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the women’s marathon. During the course of her competitive career she experienced 6 stress fractures which she was forced to train through in order to maintain fitness. She has experienced several minor injuries that have forced her to modify her exercise habits in recent years.
  • Bit (my sister): Bit is a senior in high school who runs for the high school track and cross country teams. She is currently deciding between several colleges to continue her running career. She experienced a stress fracture to her sacrum this past winter that compromised her training for her track season.
  • Mary (mom’s running partner): Mary ran in high school and collegiately and now trains for road and trail races recreationally. Her and my mom run together several times a week. The last race they trained for and competed in was the Pikes Peak Ascent — a 13.1 mile race in which runners climb all the way to the top of Pikes Peak. This took place last August. Mary has goals of competing in the Twin Cities Marathon next fall.
  • Beth (neighbor): Beth was the only one in the circle who was not a runner. She exercises to maintain fitness and stay healthy. She recently suffered from a back injury that forced her to change up her exercise habits. Beth was a bit self-conscious about her sketching abilities so she instead wrote describing her ideas on the notecards during the session.

*My dad, Barney, came home part way through the brainstorming session and added in several ideas as well. He did not participate in warm-up games or sorting, he just wanted to draw the pictures and add to the brainstorming pool. In an effort to get a greater quantity of ideas, I let him join.

After playing warm up games for around 10 minutes, I explained the rules and goals of the brainstorming session (no judgement, quantity of ideas, etc…) and we dove in. We brainstormed for 30 min. I had dark chocolate almond bark available for the participants to eat in an effort to increase creativity. I also employed the role-stroming technique when it seemed that things were slowing down a little bit, although in general it felt like we had a good flow of ideas.

Sorting and Voting

Post Idea Sorting

After the 30 minutes of brainstorming, we began sorting the ideas. We didn’t use the silent sort method, and instead discussed similarities we saw between certain ideas. The categories we came up with were: strength, aquatics, suspension based impact reduction, group training, bike, injury immobilization, therapeutic modalities, and seeing impaired. We then leach used our respective colored sharpies to choose the 4 ideas we liked best.

The total number of ideas we collectively came up with was 36. This would make the IPM .24 — not fantastic, but no one besides me had ever done a brainstorming session before, and overall we had a lot of fun and were laughing a lot which I think was a good sign.

Top Ideas

Top 10 ideas from personal brainstorming and group brainstorming sessions:

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